Emmitt Smith, the Hall of Fame running back and three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys, estimates that he spends 100 nights a year in hotels. Last year, he traveled over 300,000 miles on American Airlines. But he’s not the complaining type. “Travel has become a lot less complicated these days,” he says. “I’m TSA-approved, I have Clear, you can connect to the internet on the plane, and all the airports usually have plenty of plug-ins.”

His pet peeve? Overpacking.

“I am the lightest packer, ever,” he says. “If you don’t have to go to baggage claim, you can save time on the front and on the back end.” And he doesn’t get too picky about luggage, either. “As long as it’s got wheels, I’m good,” he says.

Most of his travel is within the U.S., but he takes the occasional trip to Cabo San Lucas for golf and to Europe or California for family vacations.

This year, he began working with Marriott Bonvoy as a spokesperson and leader of a members-only “Moment Masterclass,” in which he will take a few lucky fans through a battery of physical feats—40 yard dash, bench press, standing broad jump—as well as mental drills such as identifying defensive coverages and offensive formations. Then they will be able to see where they rank at the same drills as NFL players.

We caught up with him as the new NFL season was kicking off to find out how he stays in shape on the road, what takes up the most room in his bag, and how sleep can sometimes be your own worst enemy.

Get into the mindset that your hotel room is your home

The first thing I do when I get to my hotel is I unpack all my clothes. I hang everything to get all the wrinkles out, set up my computer, and act like it’s my house. When I was playing, I would do that so I could focus as soon as possible, and it’s the same philosophy now: Get there and make that hotel room your room. Make it as close to home as possible.

Order room service to stay consistent

I’ll order room service—sometimes it’s about the convenience. I can’t just go hang at the bar and be me. Sometime you [try to] be you, and then you end up having to entertain everyone. So I try to stay consistent: I’m a breakfast guy, so I’ll eat an egg-white or two over medium, have some bacon and toast, and then in the evening, I’ll find some fish or chicken.

First « 1 2 » Next